Guyana Fashion Week 2013

Guyana Fashion Week ( GFW ) is more than a festival of fashion, designed to position fashion wares for sales, export and networking. Its antecedent, annual weekend events have grown to assume a responsible role in national event tourism thrusts, so complimentary to Guyana’s destination marketing initiatives. Not only do such activities promote economic prosperity and imbue nation-building pride but ultimately, facilitate youth empowerment drives.

In developing societies, the latter determines, greatly, modern, sustainable development action which is given further impetus by the consequent choices at diversifying the traditional income generating practice. GFW has always sought to enlist young creative minds in productive activity, within the cultural industry, geared towards initiating new career path opportunities. These decisions of the youth to engage in imaginative, meaningful and relevant revenue-earning enterprise, to ensure current and future human well being , not only identify the United Nation’s ongoing commitment to the attitudinal, structural and cultural process of youth empowerment, but honour and service contemporary development strategies, the principle of which is based on the economic mandate – development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

GFW has been able to successfully harness, unearth and steer much hidden talent through its multi-faceted programmes. Its volunteer department involves youth in mobilizing social campaigns and environmental issues. These young persons have given vitality to our anti-domestic violence drive by defining slogans and participating in non-violent protests. As such, leadership qualities were nurtured and manifest, through the proactive commitment of a wide cross-section of motivated youths. GFW’s consistent consciousness of environmental issues have endorsed and advanced the notion of ‘green living’ and community action in effecting sustainable, holistic and inter-disciplinary socio-economic stability, so that the young persons, under its aegis, have adopted and inculcated progressive, viable and worthwhile habits and systems. GFW has accepted its ancillary part in supporting public and private sector outreach interests, serving the national good, and has also been able to woo corporate social responsibility in empowering its own youth-driven initiatives. GFW ‘s advocacy of healthy lifestyle practice is corroborated by its attention to its aids awareness agenda and its involvement in facilitating cancer awareness. Both campaigns are ongoing and evolving and have encouraged intelligent, innovative and ingenious application of fresh, young creative talent. It is clear that an explicit youth agenda is paramount, evidenced by the repeated, large numbers of young persons who participate in its events annually.
‘”GFW has become a hallmark occasion and the next stage is critical for the development of the local fashion industry. I must commend those companies that are contributing to the growth of the young creative sector and i will like to encourage others to join us to continue to build the industry that can contribute to our economy’ Sonia Noel

Indeed, GFW is about style, fashion, beauty and the Arts. However, this is not to be appreciated only in an esoteric sense. It is about validating the creative industry as integral to economic diversification so pivotal to current economic survival strategies. The work of GFW and its spin off activities – Guyana Model Search, Designer/Stylist Portfolio and the Sonia Noel Foundation for the Creative Arts – have all sought to elevate the status of practitioners within the cultural industries as well as to position the fruits of their labour for unique sales opportunities. The philosophy behind this urgent and burgeoning momentum is to identify its existence within a feasible and lucrative economic sector. As such, the youth can appreciate their role in defining their future, through creative endeavour, ultimately, equipping them with a sense of authority in negotiating rules of socio-economic engagement for future generations. Yes, it is as big a deal as that! For that is true empowerment! For where there is a forum/agency serving to provide them with active participatory expression of their abilities, there would be an outcome which would affect the needs of future generations. Special mention must be made of Courts Guyana for their incisive and dedicated approach to youth empowerment in Guyana, through their active and hands-on involvement with Guyana Fashion Week, over the years.

“Courts Guyana limited id happy to support young talent the creative industries.This partnership with Sonia Noel and Guyana Fashion Week goes beyond this event because furniture is fashion.Event like these give young people a chance to develop in the fashion industry.” Pernell Cummings Marketing Manager Courts.

Designing, modelling, make up artistry, hair styling, art direction, photography, set design, graphic arts, performing arts, visual arts, culinary arts, event coordination, production management, public relations/communications administration, hospitality services, lighting and sound design, wardrobe planning, garment manufacture, accessory/craft design, millinery design, footwear design, scripting, feature writing and salesmanship are all part of an influential network of associations which comprise the creative powerhouse of activities that is Guyana Fashion Week. With this said, it is only obvious that consummate youth empowerment is championed within its purview. Ultimately, its successful existence and resilient evolution serve to boost self-pride, give prominence to national identity and authenticate regional prestige in our collective Caribbean aesthetic.